Ukhrul, Jan 30 : The beautiful but dying Tangkhul traditional culture “Vamkashok” which is an integral part of seed sowing (Luita Phanit) festival is still alive and practised only at Loree Kajui, Longpi village in Ukhrul.
Vamkashok means lavishly and generously entertaining guests during the celebration of Luita Phanit (seed sowing fest) of Raphei (northern) Ukhrul villages.
Specially prepared pork dish called ’Kasorsa’ is served to the guests during the festival along with locally malted oats beer which is called Khor during Luita Phanit festival. Kasorsa is a simple dish with the pork cooked with a generous dose of local chilly powder in the well known Longpi clay pot for a long time, so that the meat becomes tender and succulent. Luita phanit is a 4 day festival, starting from January 27 every year in Raphei area villages. Many of the villagers also consider Luita Phanit as the new year festival.
Villages reserve 2 days for guest entertainment-on the second and third day of the festival. Guest visitor Babyla Jassal, who came from Imphal said she really enjoyed the Longpi Kasorsa (pork) weighing about 700 gm or more for the first time although she had heard earlier about the dish from her friends. She tried eating the whole sliced pork but could not finish it as it was too rich. Apart from Kasorsa, Jassal said that “Khor” was good.
She also said that the locally brewed rice beer called, Zamsam, tasted like a milder version of Vodka with a good flavour. She also appreciated the hospitality extended to visitors. Yaomatai Luiram a village youth, who elaborated on the speciality of Luita Phanit said that the villagers in Raphei area depend mostly on agricultural activities and therefore the respective village headmen have to invoke the ritual before the seed sowing.
“We believe in lavishly offering the guest visitors to invoke blessings from all. In Luita Phanit, similar to “Ningol Chakkouba” sliced pork is given to every married sisters of the family as gifts,” he explained. According to Luiram, expenditure does not matter. The most important is to entertain the guests and satisfy them. According to conventional belief, in case, no guest visitor turns up for any family, then it is a matter of embarrassment. So every household throws open its doors to welcome visitors to come and taste the prepared meat and local brews. Louis Ngasainao Director of Agriculture Department inaugurated the four day festival as the chief guest of Loree Kajui.
Source: The Sangai Express